How to Paint a Nautical Style Dresser

Using two shades of paint and a roll of sisal rope, transform a humdrum wood dresser into a cottage-style dresser.

January 11, 2022
Using two shades of paint and a roll of sisal rope, transform a humdrum wooden dresser into a masculine masterpiece for a boyâ  s room.

Using two shades of paint and a roll of sisal rope, transform a humdrum wooden dresser into a masculine masterpiece for a boy’s room.

Photo by: Rustic White Photography, LLC

Rustic White Photography, LLC

Tools and Materials

  • wooden dresser
  • high-volume, low-pressure (HVLP) paint sprayer
  • (1) quart of navy blue semi-gloss latex paint-and-primer-in-one
  • (1) quart of white semi-gloss latex paint-and-primer-in-one
  • (1) quart of enamel primer
  • fine-grit sandpaper or sanding block
  • spool of sisal rope
  • wood filler
  • spackle knife
  • damp cloth
  • chisel
  • drill and 3/4” drill bit
  • painter’s tape
  • utility knife

Choosing the Right Dresser

Since paint and hardware are the major elements for this project, it’s important to choose a dresser that will easily take paint and that can be drilled for hardware attachment. Solid wood dressers with flat drawer fronts work best.

Since paint and hardware are the major elements for this project, itâ  s important to choose a dresser that will easily take paint and that can be drilled for hardware attachment. Solid wood dressers with flat drawer fronts work best.

Before

Before

Step 1: Clean and Prep

To give an old dresser a more streamlined look, remove any appliqués or embellishments. This is easy to do by using a chisel or a flat screwdriver to pop the appliqué from the drawer front.

New hardware will be attached to the drawer fronts, so it may be necessary to drill new holes. If you can not use the existing holes, patch them with wood filler, then smooth the surface using a spackle knife.

Step 2: Prep Wood for Paint

Before new paint can be applied, you’ll need to rough up and/or remove the existing finish. Use fine-grit sandpaper to knock the existing sealer loose. Once the entire surface has been sanded, be sure to wipe the dresser clean using a damp cloth.

Before new paint can be applied, youâ  ll need to rough up and/or remove the existing finish. Use fine grit sand paper to knock the existing sealer loose. Once the entire surface has been sand-ed, be sure to wipe the dresser clean using a damp cloth.

Before new paint can be applied, you’ll need to rough up and/or remove the existing finish. Use fine grit sand paper to knock the existing sealer loose. Once the entire surface has been sand-ed, be sure to wipe the dresser clean using a damp cloth.

Step 3: Paint Dresser and Drawer Fronts

The key to giving the dresser nautical flair is painting it with two tones of paint: ultra-white and navy blue. The ultra-white frame will serve as a clean, crisp backdrop against the navy blue drawer fronts.

Remove the drawers and set them aside. Coat the entire frame of the dresser in ultra-white latex paint using the paint sprayer. Using a paint sprayer instead of a brush or roller will provide a smooth, streak-free finish. Next, move on to the drawer front giving a solid coat of navy blue. Let dry completely.

The key to giving the dresser nautical flair is painting it with two tones of paint: ultra white and navy blue. First, coat the entire casing with ultra white latex paint using the paint sprayer. The ultra white will serve as a clean, crisp backdrop against the dark navy blue drawer fronts.

The key to giving the dresser nautical flair is painting it with two tones of paint: ultra white and navy blue. First, coat the entire casing with ultra white latex paint using the paint sprayer. The ultra white will serve as a clean, crisp backdrop against the dark navy blue drawer fronts.

Step 4: Drill Holes for Drawer Pulls

For a hint of nautical texture, chunky sisal rope will be used as drawer pulls. Before the sisal can be cut and attached, locate the center point of the drawer front, then determine the exact placement of each end of the pull. Use a drill and 3/4” drill bit to add holes. If you are using the existing holes, you may have to widen them a bit to accommodate the rope.

Step 5: Cut and Attach Sisal Rope Pulls

Unfurl sisal rope, then cut 14” strips for use as pulls. Wrap painter’s tape around the ends of the rope, then thread the pulls through the drilled holes and add knots along the inside of the drawer front.

Using two shades of paint and a roll of sisal rope, transform a humdrum wooden dresser into a masculine masterpiece for a boyâ  s room.

Using two shades of paint and a roll of sisal rope, transform a humdrum wooden dresser into a masculine masterpiece for a boy’s room.

Photo by: Rustic White Photography, LLC

Rustic White Photography, LLC

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